Chennai: Saarang is the annual cultural extravaganza of IIT Madras, held from 18th-22nd January 2012 held at the campus itself. With an attendance of over 50,000 people, Saarang 2012 has a host of competitions, lectures, demonstrations, and professional shows by the best in the industry. The professional shows or 'Pro Shows', as they are popularly called, have been the highlight of Saarang over the years.
The classical arts have always enjoyed a niche audience at Saarang. Keeping with this tradition, the Open Air Theatre at IIT Madras will witness performances showcasing Indian culture on 18th January. 'Sammilan', featuring flute maestro Shashank Subramanyam, and the internationally acclaimed WOMEX (world music expo) performers are back together for the second time to enthral the audience with their confluence of Carnatic, Hindustani and Folk music. This would be the first time they are performing in a college festival.
To keep with the atmosphere created, the musical concert will be followed by 'Vision of Forever', a production by the world renowned Odissi dancer, Ramli Ibrahim and the Sutra Dance Theatre from Malaysia. The group which has travelled to places as far as Poland to captivate people with their interpretation of the Indian culture is all set to leave an everlasting impression on the home crowd at Saarang.
On the second night of Saarang, the Open Air Theatre plays host to the finals of 'Choreo Night', the inter-collegiate group dance competition. College teams from all over the country fly down to IIT Madras to prove their mettle on a grand stage. The bubbling energy of the participants and the roar of the cheering crowd create an electric environment. All proceeds from this show-cum-competition will go to the ATMA Foundation, a charitable organization that undertakes a variety of activities that support needy people in different walks of lives.
Saarang will also see the crowd dance to the catchy foot-tapping songs of a prominent music composer and playback singer, Devi Sri Prasad on 20th January. Starting at six in the evening, this four hour concert by Devi Sri Prasad or DSP as he is popularly known as, is sure to be a hit. DSP is an accomplished multi-lingual singer. He is also the first composer who could give hits in three different languages simultaneously.
'The Rock Show' is one of the most eagerly anticipated events at Saarang. From the Mardi Gras days, when western music bands were alien in conservative Chennai, the cultural festival has witnessed performances by international bands and artistes. This year, the show will see Swedish metal band Vildhjarta playing live in India for the first time, at the Open Air Theater on 21st January. Vildhjarta are a progressive metal band, known for having pioneered the 'ambidjent' genre of metal. This is marked by harmonic minor guitar riffs that create the ambiance, characterized by layers of reverberant guitars.
The night will be a 5 hour long musical extravaganza, kicked off by performances by the finalists of Decibels, and will continue to feature leading bands from India - Scribe, Blind Image, and Inner Sanctum. Scribe, which was nominated for the MTV Europe Music Awards, is a Mumbai-based hardcore experimental band and is hailed as one of the most technically proficient bands in the underground music scene. Inner Sanctum are a Bangalore-based thrash metal band, that has won many accolades. They are also well known for opening bands like Metallica and Cradle of Filth at their concerts. Not just that, they have also headlined several international music festivals. Lastly, Blind Image is one of Chennai's foremost bands, having opened for Cradle of Filth and critically acclaimed by Rolling Stones. For metal fans, the night truly promises to be one to remember for a long, long time.
Vishal and Shekhar, one of the leading music director duos of Bollywood, shall be performing live in concert at the Open Air Theater on 22nd January. The performance shall be their first ever in Chennai satiating the fans out here of their desire to watch them perform.
The performance shall be set in motion by an opening act from one of the most successful and exceptionally talented Indian bands Faridkot. The finalist of Channel V-Launchpad 3, Faridkot has performed over 100 shows all over India and has already stepped into the Bollywood music scene. Accompanying Vishal and Shekhar, Shweta Pandit shall be joining the party too. Having worked with legendary composers like Ilaiyaraja and A R Rahman, Shweta Pandit is one of the most talented singers in the music industry. Vishal and Shekhar along with Faridkot and Shweta Pandit are all set to make it what they call an unforgettable night!